- Business Insider
Though MoviePass has been around since 2011, it didn’t break into the mainstream until August 2017, when the company announced it would slash the price of its all-you-can-watch movie service to $9.95 a month.
Since then, over 2 million people have subscribed to the service, and it now features an annual-fee subscription for new users that is advertised as costing $7.95 a month (with a processing fee).
While the app is relatively easy to use, especially with its recent redesign, there are certain variables about it that have proved difficult for users. And the company has caught flack for its share of customer service difficulties.
With that in mind, here are the answers to some of the most common questions about MoviePass:
Nick Vega contributed to an earlier version of this article.
What exactly is MoviePass?
MoviePass is a subscription service that allows you to see up to one movie a day in theaters.
How much is it?
The standard fee for a subscription is a flat monthly fee of $9.95 a month, which is currently only available to sign up for through the MoviePass app (as opposed to its website).
Earlier this month, MoviePass introduced an annual subscription for new users that includes free access to the streaming service Fandor, which it says costs $7.95 a month. However, with a $19.95 processing fee, it really equals out to a one-year total of $115.35, or around $9.61 a month. (This plan is available via the MoviePass website.)
How does it work?
When you sign up for MoviePass, you get a debit card mailed to you. When you’re ready to see a movie, MoviePass will load that debit card with the full cost of the ticket, which you then pay the theater. The only cost you pay is your monthly or annual fee to MoviePass.
Where can I get it?
You can sign up on MoviePass.com or through the MoviePass app.
What theaters support MoviePass?
- REUTERS/ Danish Siddiqui
MoviePass has said it works at 91% of theaters in the country. The MoviePass app and website feature a map that shows the nearest participating theaters in your zip code.
Can I use MoviePass to see any movie?
Yes, provided it is a standard, 2D showing – MoviePass will let you see any film that isn’t 3D or IMAX.
Can I use MoviePass to buy more than one ticket at a time?
No. When you select a showing, your MoviePass debit card is loaded with funds equaling the price of a single adult ticket at the theater you selected.
Are there any blackout dates? Can I see a movie the day it comes out?
- Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
There are no specified blackout dates. Many MoviePass subscribers recently contributed to the record-setting box office performance of “Black Panther” on its opening weekend.
Does MoviePass work at independent theaters?
Yes. MoviePass is accepted at most major chain theaters and indie theaters alike.
Is there a limit to the number of movies you can see in a month?
No. You can use MoviePass to see as many movies as you like in a month – though you can see only one per day.
Can you see the same movie more than once?
MoviePass does allow you to see the same movie more than once, so long as it’s not on the same day.
Can I lend my MoviePass card to someone else?
No. Your MoviePass card is yours. It is connected to your smartphone, so you couldn’t give another person your card to use unless you gave them your phone as well.
Does it work at theaters with reserved seating?
- AMC Theatres via The Credits
Yes. Your MoviePass card acts as a regular debit card. It doesn’t matter whether seating is reserved.
How far ahead do I have to reserve a ticket? Can I just use it on a whim?
There’s no specific time frame for when you’re supposed to use MoviePass. Simply use it the same way as you would any other debit card.
Can I use MoviePass to order tickets online through sites like Fandango?
No. MoviePass requires you be within 100 yards of the theater (using the GPS on your phone) to check into a screening. If you want to buy a ticket in advance, you need to go to the theater early. Note: A small percentage of theaters do allow ticketing directly through the MoviePass app, but the vast majority do not.
Why have some MoviePass accounts been cancelled?
This month, MoviePass drew criticism when it terminated a “small percentage” of accounts for violating its terms of service. Many MoviePass subscribers who had their accounts cancelled vocally objected to it on Twitter.
MoviePass responded to the controversy by saying that it “diligently review card transactions to prevent fraudulent activity” and only cancelled accounts that abused their system to purchase something other than a standard 2D showing. The MoviePass website lists several activities that can get your account cancelled, including:
- Using the MoviePass card to purchase concessions
- Exchanging tickets for passes
- Gift card purchases
- Premium ticket purchases (3D, IMAX, etc.)
- Split tender purchases (more than 1 ticket purchase per day) using the MoviePass card
- Using MoviePass card to make purchases online
- Advance ticketing
Why has AMC Theatres come out against MoviePass?
AMC has said it does not believe that MoviePass has a sustainable business model and that it will eventually go out of business. The chain has declined to give MoviePass discounted tickets or preferential treatment for drawing audiences to its theaters.
MoviePass’ CEO Mitch Lowe, in turn, kicked 10 high-traffic AMC theaters off its service in January in an attempt to prove that the service can do damage to AMC’s bottom line.
Analysts project that MoviePass will need to secure partnerships with chains like AMC to remain financially viable.